Solomon passes affordable housing legislation

HARRISBURG, July 8 -- This week, the House passed H.B. 581 allowing local taxing authorities to expand access to affordable housing in an unprecedented way, according to state Rep. Jared Solomon, the bill’s sponsor.

It was already approved by the Senate on a 50-0 vote. It now goes to the governor for his signature.

“For every 100 people who need affordable housing in Pennsylvania, only 42 people will get it,” said Solomon, D-Phila. “In extreme cases, in counties like York and Monroe, only 28 people out of 100 will get the affordable housing they need. In Lancaster, only 19 people.

“This is unacceptable. I’m thrilled to have sponsored and passed the affordable housing bill this week. This is a step in the right direction to ensuring every resident of Pennsylvania can have the housing they need to raise their families and comfortably live and work in every one of our 67 counties.” 

Solomon said the bill benefits residents across the commonwealth because developers will be incentivized to build affordable housing across the state. He said everyone deserves a home they are proud of, and the affordable housing bill creates more access to that.

The bill gives local authorities a menu of options to pass tax abatements or exemptions for the creation or improvements of affordable housing, be they for homeownership or rentals. Use of these abatements is entirely up to local policymakers, and in some cases, offers various exemption schedules to tailor the tax relief to the needs and budgetary constraints they face. 

“This was a true example of bipartisan collaboration,” Solomon said. "Thank you to the Urban Affairs Chairs and staff on both sides of the aisle. They worked tirelessly to advance this bill.

“I also want to thank the House and key staff in the Senate who realized the importance of affordable housing for all Pennsylvanians. Lastly, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and so many stakeholders helped advanced this legislation and placed the housing needs of Pennsylvanians first. Government works best when we do things together and this is a great example of this collaborative spirit.” 

In addition to the City of Philadelphia, several organizations, and housing partners advocated for Solomon’s housing bill.

Partners include:

  • Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
  • Building Industry Association of Philadelphia
  • City of Philadelphia
  • SHIFT Capital
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Housing Alliance
  • Community Legal Services
  • Homeowners Association of Philadelphia
  • Lomax Real Estate Partners

Letters of Support can be found here

Spokespersons from community organizations are available for comment.